Behind the scenes at Batley Wastesaver online hub

Posted by Helen Archard Online Fashion Content Intern

18th Jun 2013

After a devastating fire struck the original Oxfam Wastesaver textile recyling plant in 2011, it has now been relocated to a new Batley site. Within the new Leeds location and situated alongside the Wastesaver Recycling, Logistics and Transport departments, the fashion-focused Batley Online Hub is delighted to be in its new home.

Taking a hands-on approach, the Batley team designed their own space to nurture a positive, welcoming and inclusive retail environment. On March 25th, 4500 items of stock were moved to the new 10,000 sq metre space and, after a few exhilarating late nights and a determined attitude, the transformations was achieved with only four days offline. They transformed this...

to this...


Shop festival fashion

Batley Online Hub is one of the principal online listers for Oxfam Online Shop. Their team of volunteers work tirelessly to photograph and showcase the fabulous donations, offering the most distinctive, sought after and valuable pieces to a worldwide audience through the Oxfam Online Shop. Batley Online Hub has a strong relationship and works closely with the Wastesaver sorting team to generate a broad range of stock. The Online Hub are also a key support to Oxfam initiatives and have been involved in collaborations such as the William Vintage Vogue Online promotion and the upcoming MELA Fashion Show at the O2 in September.

The team is run by Online Hub Manager Natasha Fahy, previously a buyer and designer for international fashion brands, and Deputy Manager Holly Rothwell, previously a print designer and textile design lecturer. This vast fashion knowledge and experience combined with a deep passion for Oxfam and a team of loyal volunteers drives the Online Hub in a fashion-forward direction to generate vital funds to help Oxfam fight poverty.

A further eight volunteers from the local area have been recruited since the move, six of which are students from local universities undertaking fashion based internships. "People, whether it be the people who benefit from Oxfam's work around the world; the volunteers and individuals who make it happen; our generous supporters, donators and customers, are the focus, heart and soul of what we do here," explained Natasha.

Batley Online Hub identifies key catwalk seasonal trends, as with most retailers and brands, and creates conceptual moodboards of upcoming looks. Their staple trends for SS13 are funked-up florals, monochrome chequers and hi-shine metallics.

Natasha said: "Oxfam does offer a fashion forward customer an exciting, eclectic range of product at excellent value. As a Hub we aim to provide a well balanced product offer to fulfil all of our customer needs . Whether it be vintage, designer or high street, being aware and able to present a fashionable and on-trend selection is essential."

Following the recent catwalk shows, Batley Online Hub have already started working on their AW13 moodboards so that, come September, they have yet another fabulous on-trend offering. Here is a sneak preview...

As with any fashion retailer, the team at Batley Online Hub keep their finger on the pulse. "Being online, we have a key ability to react and respond to seasonal trends. We can also respond immediately to micro trends such as the Great Gatsby 1920's theme seen recently," said Natasha.

Nearly 300 new, unique and quality items are listed per week from Batley's magnificent hub, an increase since moving to their new home. Batley Online Hub gems have previously included a brand new Salvatore Ferragamo leather handbag, exquisite British Heritage, vintage Liberty and a delicate 1940's wedding gown, complete with letter from the owner detailing the touching love story behind the donation.

Everything that takes place at the Online Hub is to optimise the generous donations Oxfam receives in order to help Oxfam work with others to fight poverty nationally and internationally.


BATLEY ONLINE HUB FASHION PICKS

Here's a selection of some of Batley's best SS13 items chosen by the Online Hub's Womenswear Section Intern, Beth.

Beth, Batley Online Hub Womenswear Section Intern

See what other fantastic items the Online Hub have currently listed here   and be sure to check back regularly so you don't miss any of Batley's treasures...



Blog post written by Helen Archard

Online Fashion Content Intern

More by Helen Archard